Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2007
To reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency, composites are being adhesively bonded into integral structural elements of aircraft at an accelerating rate. Once a bonded structure is assembled, there is no conventional NDI method available to assure that bond strength is adequate for service. The presence of weak regions in bonds can lead to disastrous failure of the structure under flight loads. Laser Bond Inspection (LBI) offers a practical solution to locating weak regions in laminate-adhesive bonds in aircraft structures. It is a local proof-testing method that applies a well-controlled dynamic stress to the composite structure, and senses the failure of weak adhesive bonds in response to the stress. The controlled stressing of the composite material has no effect on the material or bond if it is not damaged, defective, or substandard. In order for LBI to be widely applicable, however, advanced technology needs to be developed to inspect thick multilayer composite structures (0.5-1.0 inch thick), bonded structure with non-parallel surfaces (e.g., tapered flange to skin composite), and mixed material joints (e.g., metal-to-composite). The innovative aspect of the proposed SBIR Phase I program is to perform key experiments to demonstrate new LBI technical approaches to these difficult inspection problems.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2006
To reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency, composites are being using in aircraft construction at an accelerating rate. The presence of material defects in these composite structures can lead to disastrous failure under flight loads. Many classes of these defective regions are undetectable by conventional NDI techniques such as ultrasonic probing. A revolutionary new inspection technology invented at Boeing and under development at LSP Technologies, Inc., offers a practical solution to locating composite damage/defect regions in laminate and laminate-adhesive bonds in aircraft structures. This inspection technique, known as Laser Bond Inspection (LBI), is a proof-testing method that applies a well-controlled dynamic stress to the composite structure, and senses the failure of weak laminate or weak adhesive bonds in response to the stress. The innovative aspect of the proposed SBIR Phase II program is to fabricate a factory-hardened process head (or heads) to be mated to the compact laser device under development. The process head would include the best features of the Phase I process head approaches, as well as those of the process head approaches developed under the CAI program. This advancement is essential for rapid insertion of the LBI process into aircraft manufacturing plants operations and aircraft maintenance depots.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2014
Aerospace manufacturers are using composite structures in aircraft and they are the future of aviation. Composites reduce weight and maintenance costs. Today, many composite structures are joined together with fasteners. However to meet future design r
LSP Technologies, Inc. | Date: 2010-12-07
The invention relates to a method and apparatus for improving properties of a solid material by providing shockwaves there through. Laser shock processing is used to provide the shockwaves. The method includes applying a liquid energy-absorbing overlay, which is resistant to erosion and dissolution by the transparent water overlay and which is resistant to drying to a portion of the surface of the solid material and then applying a transparent overlay to the coated portion of the solid material. A pulse of coherent laser energy is directed to the coated portion of the solid material to create a shockwave. Advantageously, at least a portion of the unspent energy-absorbing overlay can be reused in situ at a further laser treatment location and/or recovered for later use.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2008
Since the inception of laser peening, improved nondestructive test methods and sensors have been sought to ensure that laser peening produces the desired magnitude and depth profile of residual compressive stress in the part being treated. There are no reliable nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques generally applicable to any surface enhancement process to monitor residual stress, so it is important to have real-time process controls and monitors in place for these processes. Laser beam diagnostic sensors are used typically to verify that the correct laser pulse energy, temporal pulse width, and fluence spatial profile are delivered to the part for each laser spot applied. Test coupons, such as Almen strips, may be processed on a sampling basis, which provide a semi-quantitative measure of the effectiveness of laser peening. However, these techniques do not provide information measured from physical phenomena directly in the part during laser peening. Incorporating real-time process sensors, which monitor the laser beam interaction or the stress wave generated in the part on a spot-by-spot basis, will greatly reduce the probability of nonconforming process conditions. The real-time quality control system to be developed in this program will enable immediate corrective actions during processing, when needed.